China has become increasingly concerned about censorship after the arrest of a BBC journalist. “beaten and kicked by police” The footage revealed that the State Broadcaster altered World Cup coverage in order to show maskless crowds.
BBC, UK’s top politicians and human rights organisations condemned yesterday’s Chinese state police arrest of Reporter Ed Lawrence. This was while Lawrence was accredited as a journalist and covering the anti-lockdown protests which have been going on for weeks.
Lawrence “beaten and kicked by the police” According to BBC statements, the imprisonment lasted several hours.
“The BBC is extremely concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai,” The pubcaster was also added.
Lawrence then shared the BBC’s statement via social media. Lawrence said that at least one person from his locality was taken into custody after he tried to stop the police from beating him.
China denied the BBC’s chain of events, with a Foreign Ministry Spokesman saying Lawrence had failed to reveal his identity or show his press card.
This incident occurred on one the most protestorious days of the year.
Over the past weeks, protestors have taken to the streets across the country due to frustrations with the government’s strict Covid-19 policies while other nations have now mostly done away with restrictions.
China is still experiencing lockdowns. They can be found in small and large areas, as well as counties. As protestors hold up A4 papers, they are a sign of their disapproval at the denial of freedom of speech and censorship within a country that just saw Xi Jinping win a third term.
World Cup Censorship
CCTV in China has been heavily criticised by the Chinese government broadcaster for their coverage of protests. They also appeared to have censored images from mask-less people at the Qatar World Cup yesterday.
The South China Morning Post Live broadcasts of Japan’s game against Croatia featured close-up images of fans without masks waving flags. These were replaced by photos of officials either standing on their own or with small groups at the touchline. Twitter shared a number of videos comparing Chinese coverage to non-Chinese. South China Morning Post Verified the coverage
CCTV Sports showed distant shots of the crowd where it was difficult to make out individual faces, and fewer crowd shots compared to the live telecast of the same game on online platforms including Douyin – China’s version of TikTok – and coverage in the likes of North America and the UK.
As the Chinese government battles protests that are not abating, this controversy is only the latest in a long list of issues.